BYU caught national attention with a record-breaking win over Texas in Week 2, but remains winless otherwise thanks to close losses to Virginia and Utah. They host their first non-AQ opponent of the year Friday when they play Middle Tennessee State in Provo. Television coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET on ESPNU.
The Cougars started the year out with a 19-16 loss on the road to Virginia in harsh weather conditions and responded with a program-record 550 rushing yards in a 40-21 home win against Texas, a game that caused the Longhorns to fire defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. Two weeks later, BYU lost 20-13 in the Holy War at home against Utah. Despite the two losses, Cougar fans aren't panicking yet.
Middle Tennessee State opened the year up with a 45-24 win over Western Carolina, and followed that up with a 40-20 loss to North Carolina. After a 17-15 win over Memphis, the Blue Raiders won their opening game in Conference USA by defeating Florida Atlantic 42-35 on the road in overtime. They currently stand on top of the East division.
Rankings and records: Neither team received any votes in the latest poll. This is the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
Vegas: BYU is a 23-point favorite, and the over/under is set at 59.5 points. OddsShark has more.
Weather: Night time in Provo will be around 36 degrees.
Three names to know
Kyle Van Noy. One of the top defensive players in the nation, he's a threat to get through to the backfield and make a huge play at any time.
Taysom Hill. The BYU quarterback ran for 259 yards against Texas, but also ran for nearly 100 against Utah and is a serious threat on the ground.
T.T. Barber. The Middle Tennessee State linebacker has a team-high 44 tackles and is one of seven different Blue Raiders with an interception on the year.
Two things at stake
Outside of an impressive performance against Texas, BYU is winless, but has lost both games in tight affairs. The Cougars do not have an easy schedule, and will have to start getting back in the win column soon to improve their bowl status.
A win for Middle Tennessee State would cement their place as the front runner in a weak Conference USA East division.
How to witness
TV: 9 p.m. ET on ESPNU.
Radio: For BYU, tune in to KSL NewsRadio on 102.7 FM and 1160 AM. Here's a list of Middle Tennessee State affiliates.
Online streaming: WatchESPN
For all your BYU perspective and analysis, head to Vanquish the Foe.